Venezuela: Maduro Says Colombian President Tried to Kill Him During Elections

President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro meets with the United Nations Secretary General on September 27, 2018 at the United Nations in New York. (Photo by Don EMMERT / AFP) (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)
DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images

Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro once again personally accused Colombian President Iván Duque on Tuesday of plotting his assassination, this time allegedly during the fraudulent legislative elections Maduro organized Sunday.

The Spanish news agency EFE noted Maduro has claimed to be the target of an assassination plot over 40 times since he succeeded late socialist dictator Hugo Chávez in 2013. While Maduro has blamed most of those alleged plots on the United States, he has increasingly accused Colombia of being a willing accomplice. Maduro has presented no verifiable evidence for any of his alleged assassination plots.

The democratically elected government of Colombia has vehemently denied any alleged plot to kill Maduro.

“My security team recommended that I change polling stations … Iván Duque participated in the plan to try to assassinate me on Election Day; that is the truth,” Maduro said on state television on Tuesday. “Iván Duque is the Colombian president who has hated Venezuela the most, I don’t know who he hates more — Venezuela or Colombia, I think us.”

Maduro presented no evidence for this allegation.

Maduro went on to accuse Duque of wanting “a war with Venezuela” but failing to accomplish his alleged mission.

“Every day in his office he gets a report of what I say and what I do; every day he talks about me and Venezuela,” Maduro alleged. “He has a fatal attraction like in the movie. Of course, in the movie they fall in love, I don’t think that he is in love with me. I think he is in hate, not love. He governs more against Venezuela than for Colombia.”

Elsewhere in his remarks on Tuesday, Maduro claimed Duque had prepared an army of 1,000 “mercenaries” to fight Venezuela.

Maduro also used Twitter to accuse Duque of trying to kill him.

“During the [December 6] parliamentary elections, we discovered a plan forged in Colombia to assassinate me,” Maduro posted. “That is why I took legal and security measures. I cannot give any details because investigations are ongoing. They have not been able to and they never will!”

The free world has nearly universally condemned the December 6 election as a sham. Prior to the election, in which Venezuelans were asked to choose representatives to the federal legislature, the National Assembly, Maduro ordered the removal of the leaders of major opposition parties, who were then replaced with socialist cronies. He also packed the National Electoral Council (CNE), which counts votes, with loyalists. The election resulted in the lowest turnout for any national election in the history of the country. The Meganálisis polling firm estimated that over 80 percent of Venezuelans boycotted the election.

The government of Colombia, on behalf of the conservative Duque, issued a denial on Tuesday of the alleged murder plot, expressing impatience with the repeated accusations from the socialist dictator that Bogotá was actively trying to kill him.

“The usual calumnies by Nicolás Maduro against Iván Duque, which I reject with indignation, don’t make a dent on a democrat like the Colombian president, as they originate from a tyrant with no support, designated by the U.N. and repudiated for his political illegitimacy and the people’s weariness,” Carlos Holmes Trujillo, Colombia’s defense minister, replied in a statement posted to Twitter.

The allegation against Duque arrived three months after Maduro accused President Donald Trump, again, of “approving” a plan to assassinate him.

“Donald Trump approved my killing, my killing — listen, I am not exaggerating,” Maduro said in September. “They are trying to move a group of snipers or to buy snipers in Venezuela to kill me, Donald Trump approved it, he has no ethics.”

Maduro also incorrectly claimed Trump offered $15 million dollars as a “bounty” for his killing; the $15 million is a reward offered by the State Department for information leading to Maduro’s conviction or arrest on charges of drug trafficking and narco-terrorism related to his relationship with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist terrorist organization.

Last year, Maduro again accused the United States of plotting with Bogotá to assassinate him, claiming a “fascist band of terrorists” had “planned a coup” and were arrested before they could act.

In 2018, Maduro again made the same claim, again with no evidence.

“They have given the order from the White House that Maduro be killed, a task they have given to the oligarchy in Bogotá,” Maduro again said on state television. “The government of Bogotá has been given the task of assassinating me, I denounce it worldwide. They will not even touch a single hair of mine.”

Prior to the arrival of the Trump administration, Maduro personally accused then-Vice President Joe Biden of plotting to kill him less than a year after the two met personally. During that meeting, rather than condemn Maduro’s long list of human rights atrocities, Biden reportedly complimented him on having a thick head of hair.

“I accuse U.S. Vice President Joe Biden who personally spoke with the presidents and prime ministers about the plan,” Maduro said in 2015, providing no evidence. “The imperial power has entered a dangerous phase of desperation and has been talking to governments of the continent to announce the toppling my government.”

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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